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Hacking attack targets epileptics

I find ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ entertaining. I get ‘Jackass’… They scare people, gross them out, or generally bewilder. But they don’t intentionally go out and drop toilet bowls on people’s heads or put others lives in danger.

What I don’t get is the recent hack of the Epilepsy Foundation forums, changing posts so that they displayed flashing strobes and trippy patterns. I find this behavior reprehensible. To sully a non-profit’s reputation, and attack unsuspecting seizure disorder suffers, many of whom may be incapcitated by the strobes or patterns. Thankfully most of them probably don’t know what happened, essentially blacking out, except for an awful headache or coffee covered keyboard. The Epilepsy Foundation responded quickly, impresive for a Sunday, holiday, and a non-profit.

Seizures consist of multiple neurons in the brain firing out of sequence. The random firings may be localized and cause an absence episode, or generalized Tonic Clonic events (previously known as Grand Mal) where the afflicted lose muscle control and physically convulse.

After the main event, there are typically aftershocks. Just as after an earthquake the ground may move a little more easily, so too is the case for epileptics. People may be epsiode free for a year or more by successful diagnosis, drug therapy, or even brain surgery. They may have just resumed a normal lifestyle of heading to the grocery store or walking to the park, and now have to worry about something they would have been resistant to a week earlier. Imagine a fear of seizing in a crosswalk, or while chopping celery.

For a demonstration, do something honorable or with meaning. I find it one thing to engage in protests: ruin a fur with red paint, DoS or defile a website, or even common financial thievery. The Epilepsy Foundation attack is the digital equivalent to randomly finding a guy on the street and beating them up. Lawless anarchy must not be tolerated from a bunch of little hooligans.

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